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Aviva Premiership Number 8s

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Post by SirBurger Sun 17 May 2015, 9:21 pm

The quality in this position is truly remarkable across the Aviva Premiership sides. Obviously there are the international guys like Vunipola and Morgan, as well as the likes of Nathan Hughes who have been getting a lot of media attention and Leory Houston who is incredibly underrated. Additionally, the form of Josh Beaumont has gone fairly unnoticed, as has that of Tom Guest, who would be London Irish's player of the season if we were just counting from January onwards.

Not really sure what the point of this thread was Erm ! However, I do love watching a good Number 8 and the quality in this position is a great indication of the strength of the league overall. Let's hope that the 2015/16 is just as good Ale ...

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Post by LondonTiger Sun 17 May 2015, 9:31 pm

I like Josh Beaumont as a player.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Sun 17 May 2015, 11:01 pm

There are certainly plenty of quality number eights around these days. England have an amazing pool of talent to choose from in that position, and when Nathan Hughes is qualified that will be another great ball carrying threat to choose.

I don't think England are going to worry about number eight for a long time. All of the options are very young.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Sun 17 May 2015, 11:04 pm

They also seem like real robust ball carrying number eights in England, which is perfect when playing alongside the likes of Tom Wood and Chris Robshaw. In Ireland there are not too many options like that, until CJ Stander qualifies anyway. Despite the fact that such a player would be a huge asset to the current irish side.

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Post by George Carlin Mon 18 May 2015, 8:15 am

Yes, you need a power carrier who is also a technician these days.

If your number 8 is also athletic with great hands, then your number 8 is probably called Kieran Read.

England is spoilt for choice these days. If someone could tell me more about Josh Beaumont then I would be grateful.

Watch Scotland's pack improve exponentially when Glasgow's Josh Strauss becomes SQ this summer.
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Post by SirBurger Mon 18 May 2015, 8:19 am

George Carlin wrote:

England is spoilt for choice these days. If someone could tell me more about Josh Beaumont then I would be grateful.


Son of Bill Beaumont. Took a slightly unusual route to professional Rugby as he went to university at Durham and didn't come up through the age group sides or club academy system (although I think he did still have an attachment with Sale whilst he studied?). Very tall, athletic and mobile, and surprisingly powerful considering his rangy frame. He can also play lock, but it seems a bit of a waste of his running game to have him there. He is also excellent in the line-out with very deft handling ability. Definitely one to watch for the future - a different type of option to Vunipola/Morgan.

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Post by George Carlin Mon 18 May 2015, 8:29 am

SirBurger wrote:
George Carlin wrote:

England is spoilt for choice these days. If someone could tell me more about Josh Beaumont then I would be grateful.


Son of Bill Beaumont. Took a slightly unusual route to professional Rugby as he went to university at Durham and didn't come up through the age group sides or club academy system (although I think he did still have an attachment with Sale whilst he studied?). Very tall, athletic and mobile, and surprisingly powerful considering his rangy frame. He can also play lock, but it seems a bit of a waste of his running game to have him there. He is also excellent in the line-out with very deft handling ability. Definitely one to watch for the future - a different type of option to Vunipola/Morgan.
No way! Now that's pedigree.
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Post by Geordie Mon 18 May 2015, 8:36 am

I agree been some good 8 performances...even the old man Aly Hogg has been very good yet again for us.

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Post by Welly Mon 18 May 2015, 9:13 am

We all know Crane is the best.

Wink

As I have said elsewhere Pearce should hopefully develops into a top 8 IMO, and we have Milne coming up (if he stays).

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Post by Bathman_in_London Mon 18 May 2015, 9:27 am

Certainly with my Bath hat on I think Leroy Houston has been a brilliant signing. Plucked from French D2 he needed to lose a little timber but now he is (for me) a contender for MoM pretty much every game. He offers a real ball carrying option which suits Baths game, admittedly though if you want a stick it up the jumper type of 8, he probably isn't the man.

If there was a Saxons tour this summer I'm sure Beaumont would have been on it, he seems a little more athletic than his old man!

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Post by niwatts Wed 20 May 2015, 10:25 pm

Beaumont has really impressed me in the Sale matches I've caught this season, he looks to have decent potential of developing into a slightly different England option in the coming years. He's not as heavy as the incumbents but he's bigger framed (6'7"), a strong lineout option and has a better turn of pace once he opens up that long stride after a break.

In addition to all the other players mentioned so far in this thread I'm also pleased to see that there seems to be more bulky backrow players whose primary future may no longer be at 8 but are very capable there, allowing for stronger carrying across the backrow and better cover from the bench. I always used to be quite envious of those sort of converted 8s that the Pacific nations tend to produce more notably and in higher numbers, but in Ewers & Fearns I think we have a couple of players who could do a decent job for the national squad.

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Post by ChequeredJersey Wed 20 May 2015, 10:40 pm

And then there's been Easter, who once again has just played better the older he gets. And Clifford as his back up, who will probably have to play flanker to get a chance but will be an England captain Wink
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Post by Geordie Thu 21 May 2015, 8:51 am

but in Ewers & Fearns I think we have a couple of players who could do a decent job for the national squad.

He would be great if was ever injury free.

As for Ewers I cant believe he's not in the England 50 man squad.

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Post by Tiger/Chief Thu 21 May 2015, 9:19 am

Cant believe that Waldrom hasn't been mentioned!! then again i can because he just goes under the radar scoring try's for fun!

Exeter have a strength in depth now especially as Ewers played a season there before Waldrom joined with Tom Johnson packing down at 8 at scrum time.

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Post by HongKongCherry Fri 22 May 2015, 11:14 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
but in Ewers & Fearns I think we have a couple of players who could do a decent job for the national squad.

He would be great if was ever injury free.

As for Ewers I cant believe he's not in the England 50 man squad.

That's because Bomber's love child Calum Clark is involved instead
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Post by beshocked Fri 22 May 2015, 11:24 am

The difficulty that Ewers has is that he was also competing with two media darlings and two of Lancaster's favourites - Itoje and Burgess who both can play 6.

Ewers has been playing at 6 this season. Clark I expect is seen as a 7 these days surely?

Lancaster probably feels that with Billy,Morgan and Easter there are enough options at 8.

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Post by Tiger/Chief Fri 22 May 2015, 11:54 am

They obviously liked what they saw in terms of leadership from inside the group from Easter during the Six Nations. That experience could prove crucial with the players being in camp for 4 months.

I agree with you that Clark is probably seen as a 7 now and that with Robshaw being a nailed on starter they want a genuine line out option at 6 rather than the added bulk of Ewers in the scrum and around the park.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri 22 May 2015, 2:11 pm

Don't forget Sam Dickenson at Saints, class player with a turn of pace, soft hands, good lineout option and can cover lock.

He would probably be back in the England squad had he not suffered a long term injury. He is really just getting back to full form and fitness now. A lot of strengths and no weaknesses, his ability to cover lock, 6 and 8 makes him a perfect bench option at international level aka Easter with a 6 thrown in.

With Manoa going to France next season, he will be first choice 8 again and pushing for a place in the AIs.
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Post by B91212 Fri 22 May 2015, 5:38 pm

To be honest I think Dickinson's time with England has gone WPI. There are no AI's this year due to the World Cup and he will be 31 by the time the 6N come round again. Billy V, Morgan (once fit) and with Hughes looking like he will choose England (although I really wish he wouldn't) meaning number 8 is well stocked then I expect the utility second row/ back row bench spot to be between the younger guys such as Itoje or Slater (only 26 I think?). Also although he is a good AP player I'm not sure he is quite international standard although I would be more than happy to be proved.

Can't really say Clark is a 6 or a 7. Like England do with Robshaw & Wood both he and Wood share the roles pretty evenly and they even swap shirt numbers from week to week. Clark often packs down at 7 in the scrum as I assumed he has better acceleration to challenge the opposition 10 but he's done that for a long time now regardless of who was the other flanker. Think the reason why many people think Clark is a 7 is because Lancaster made some comments a while back about him being a candidate for that role with England in the future but at 6.4/ 6.5 and able to play in the second row when needed then he's pretty big to be classed as an out and out 7.

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